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Ottawa's Latest and Greatest on Music

Who needs Queen St. West? Dress like a pop star at your local boutique

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Lorde performs at the Ottawa Folk Festival on Thursday, September 11. Photo by Marc DesRosiers.Lorde performs at the Ottawa Folk Festival on Thursday, September 11. Photo by Marc DesRosiers.

The unaffectedly cool anti-pop star and chanteuse of the wildly popular Royals, Lorde, performed in Ottawa this past Thursday, September 11th as part of this year’s Ottawa Folk Fest line-up. With surprisingly relatable lyrics, I’m a fan of Lorde not only for her haunting music but her subtle confidence. Without relying on barely-there clothing or abiding by every style rule, she proves that modesty and a strong sense of self can be chic, too. Though the singer first shot to stardom as a result of her entirely unique sound comprised... | Continue reading article

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An overview of Folk Fest 2014

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Ottawa’s own, The Peptides, perform on the Hill Stage Friday night. All photos by Terry Steeves.Ottawa’s own, The Peptides, perform on the Hill Stage Friday night. All photos by Terry Steeves.

September’s Ottawa Folk Fest marks the end of a summer of wonderful outdoor music festivals. Here is an account of its sights and sounds. Wednesday On a slightly cooler than usual September night, I arrived on the grounds as they were just opening. As I entered, workers were just putting the finishing touches on the Hill stage, located on the north side. There was also a delightful trolling gypsy vaudeville act offering free wedding ceremonies, complete with musical accompaniment of accordion, bass drum, and violin. Also at this end was... | Continue reading article

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Ottawa’s first ever Burlesque Fest debuts this weekend

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Coney Bow from Auckland, performing on Saturday night. Photo courtesy of Ottawa Burlesque Festival.Coney Bow from Auckland, performing on Saturday night. Photo courtesy of Ottawa Burlesque Festival.

It isn’t all Christina Aguilera and Cher singing “Show Me How You Burlesque” in sequined costumes. It’s a form of art. Well, maybe it’s a little about the sequins and singing as Ottawa’s first ever Burlesque Festival debuts this weekend with an exceptionally diverse roster of performers. “There’s a hint of what you see in movies actually in the real thing,” said James Demjan, festival co-founder. But movies like Burlesque (2010) and even further back to Moulin Rouge (2001) are a driving force behind reducing the stigma surrounding the sultry... | Continue reading article

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Basement 819 du 17 septembre 2014 :: Éric se fait historique. Nuit Blanche Ottawa-Gatineau. Grandiloquent Festival international de films d’animation à Ottawa. Chic pique-nique Harvest Noir.

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Photo tirée de cinematreasures.orgPhoto tirée de cinematreasures.org

Basement 819 trippe fort sur le cinéma cette semaine. Éric est toujours aussi thématique, il se fraye un chemin vers le passé d’Ottawa pour explorer le mythique Capitol Theatre construit en 1920 sur la rue Bank au coin de la rue Queen. À l’époque, ce cinéma pouvait accueillir rien de moins que 2430 spectateurs. Il a été démolli en 1970, un vestige perdu nous direz-vous. L’endroit était même considéré comme l’un des plus beaux “movie palace” en Amérique du Nord. Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Cream sont passés par là… LE... | Continue reading article

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Beastie Boys’ Paul’s Boutique performed live by DJ FOOD, DJ Cheeba and DJ Moneyshot

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Photo from Spectrasonic.com.Photo from Spectrasonic.com.

There’s something Beastie in the city of Ottawa. The Adam Saikaley Trio lit up The Manx with a live rendition of Ill Communication at the Arboretum Festival, and now, on September 20th at Ritual, U.K.’s DJ Food, alongside DJ Cheeba and Dj Moneyshot will be throwing down a version of Paul’s Boutique, including all, yes all! of the over 150 samples used on the ’89 classic. Hailing from London, and a pillar on Ninja Tune (the record-label home of Amon Tobin, The Herbaliser, Bonobo, and Kid Koala – to rattle... | Continue reading article

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Joss Stone takes Folk Fest on a soulful ride

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Joss Stone greeting the crowd at Ottawa Folk Fest. All photos by Terry Steeves.Joss Stone greeting the crowd at Ottawa Folk Fest. All photos by Terry Steeves.

“This is really gonna happen!” came an excited voice behind me, from a sea of people all there in anticipation of one of Ottawa Folk Fest’s biggest acts to take the stage. At 8pm on Sunday night, Joss Stone came out to greet the crowd, dressed in a full length summery dress, looking every bit a Guinevere goddess in her bare feet. She flashed a warm smile, seemed genuinely overwhelmed at the welcoming reception and playfully threw her mane of hair back in a bout of laughter. Then the first... | Continue reading article

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Folk Fest volunteers just being awesome

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Damien, volunteer photographer for Folk Fest in action. All photos by Sharon Cheung.Damien, volunteer photographer for Folk Fest in action. All photos by Sharon Cheung.

This morning I came to the sad realization that festival season is officially over. While we all head back to our Monday morning routine, the festival season ender, Folk Fest was another year of great performers. My personal favourites were Lorde whose jerk-like dance moves kept all our cold tushes warm and  BC’s Wake Owl a pop indie band that everyone should check out. But as much as I enjoyed the show and the awesome food (running the gamut from gourmet poutine to cracked corn to Indian cuisine) I really... | Continue reading article

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Blues Traveler play Folk Fest on opening night

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John Popper of Blues Traveler. All photos by Terry Steeves.John Popper of Blues Traveler. All photos by Terry Steeves.

Under a threatening September sky, a large crowd began flocking around the Ravenlaw Stage on this first night of Ottawa’s Folkfest in anticipation of a band who, by the 1990‘s, had seriously shaken up the music scene. Blues Traveler, originally a quartet made up of Brendan Hill on drums, Bobby Sheehan on bass, Chan Kinchla on guitar, and the harmonica/vocal stylings of John Popper, experimented with fusions of blues, blues-rock, folk rock, country, cajun, R&B and funk in a genre-hopping array of catchy hooks and infectious rhythms. Their stage shows... | Continue reading article

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Stompa your heart out: Serena Ryder warms the crowd at Folk Fest

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Photo by Mark Horton, courtesy of Ottawa Folk Festival.Photo by Mark Horton, courtesy of Ottawa Folk Festival.

There was definitely no lack of participation as the crowd clappa-ed their hands and stompa-ed their feet to Canadian singer-songwriter Serena Ryder’s performance at the Ottawa Folk Fest on Thursday night. Ryder, whose set followed an unforgettable performance by New Zealand teen sensation Lorde, unleashed her hit single “Stompa” to kick off her concert. I was expecting her to save the triple platinum song for her encore, but then I realized just how crucial it was for her to play it right off the bat. It’s the way the lineup... | Continue reading article

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Portland’s Black Prairie a “must-see” at Folk Fest tonight

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Photo from blackprairie.com.Photo from blackprairie.com.

It’s impossible to put this eclectic 6-piece band from Portland, Oregon into a genre slot – their music is that diverse. From the first time I heard them, I was delighted by their originality and creativity, and immediately check marked this band as one to see at this year’s Ottawa Folkfest. Black Prairie began as a side project by bassist, Nate Query and dobro/banjo/guitarist, Chris Funk of indie folk rock band, The Decemberists, who also hail from Portland, Oregon. They were later joined by pianist/accordionist, Jenny Conlee, also from The... | Continue reading article

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